Is Barcelona Worth Visiting in 2024? 

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Is Barcelona Worth Visiting? You’re in the right place! I live in Barcelona and am going to help you out.

A common question before any trip, you might be wondering if Barcelona is the right place for you. I’m going to answer all of your questions about if and why Barcelona is worth visiting.

I’ve lived in this beautiful coastal city for years and visited frequently before making the move here full time. I’ve seen the city from a local perspective and a tourist perspective.

Here’s everything you should know before deciding whether Barcelona is the right city for you – from safety and attractions to all the pros and cons of Europe’s favorite party city.

Is Barcelona Worth Visiting

I may be partial, as I’ve been living in Barcelona for the last few years. But I’m here to tell you that Barcelona is perhaps the best city in Europe. It is one of a few metropolitans of its size that sits on the beach, and has gorgeous weather to boot. 

Not only is it beachside, Barcelona has some of the best architecture. I’ve lived here for years and I still find myself in awe of just how truly gorgeous the buildings are.

I’m not just speaking about Gaudi works that are sprinkled throughout the city, I’m talking about how stunning non artistic masterpieces are as well. 

Don’t get me started on the food and nightlife here either. Barcelona has a thriving restaurant and culinary scene. You’ll find everything from traditional Catalan tapas to gourmet, Michelin star restaurants.

Barcelona is home to a vast vegan scene with some of the best plant based alternatives I’ve come across in my travels. 

There is a reason that Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain by international tourists. Barcelona saw 9.7 million visitors in 2022, according to the government.

I’m about to give you the low down on why Barcelona is worth visiting. 

| Wondering, is Barcelona friendly to tourists? The answer is 100% yes. I’ve seen Barcelona from tourist’s eyes and local eyes now. You’ll find some of the friendliest people in Europe here. 

10 Reasons to Visit Barcelona

Is it worth visiting Barcelona? If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are my top ten reasons to visit Barcelona. 

1. Architecture 

photo of inside of sagrada familia high ceilings and stained glass windows
Photo of inside the Sagrada Familia – it’s worth going inside, trust me!

Barcelona is home to some seriously exquisite architecture. Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is home to narrow medieval streets, squares, and historical buildings. 

The Barcelona Cathedral is the focal point of this barrio (neighborhood) – it’s a pristine example of Gothic architecture. The cathedral is a massive centerpiece to Gotico and I highly recommend grabbing a drink from any of the nearby rooftop bars to see just how the cathedral dominates the skyline. There’s no better time than sunset!

Barcelona was the birthplace and home of Antoni Gaudi, one of the most renowned architects. His works throughout the city are part of what makes Barcelona just so special. 

The Sagrada Familia’s construction began in 1882 and is still being worked on to this day. 

The Sagrada is truly unlike anything else. Casa Batllo and Casa Mila are popular examples of Gaudi’s work that extends to residential architecture. You’ll find Gaudi’s works peaking up throughout the city illustrating just how prominent Gaudi was to the design of this city. 

In addition to Gaudi’s works, the residential buildings of Barcelona are incredibly beautiful. Expect rich colors, high ceilings, and fantastic balconies. 

2. Weather

lines of umbrellas and beach chairs from the water at barceloneta beach - is barcelona worth visiting?
Jump in on a hot day or hang out in the sand on a cool day at Barceloneta Beach!

Barcelona has a glorious Mediterranean climate and boasts of 300+ sunny days per year. 

Summers in Barcelona are warm to hot with average temperatures from 25-30 degrees Celsius (77-86 degrees Fahrenheit). Expect relatively high humidity (my least favorite part). 

Winters are mild. Don’t expect a white Christmas as snow is not common. Daytime temperatures range from 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-59 degrees Fahrenheit).

Winter and Spring see more precipitation than Summer and Fall. 

| What’s the best time to visit Barcelona? The best time to visit Barcelona is generally between May to September. The summer months are HOT, so if you’re not one for humidity, I’d suggest visiting late spring or early fall. 

Keep an eye out for the rainier months – rain starts picking up around October/November.  

3. Easy to Get to

Barcelona is incredibly easy to get to, no matter where you’re traveling from. 

Home to El Prat airport, one of the busiest airports in Europe

The popular aero bus connects the airport to the city center with tickets costing around 6 dollars. You can buy tickets at the airport or online ahead of time. 

Barcelona has plenty of high-speed rail trains connecting to other Spanish cities for great day trips and weekend trips. 

Free Guide: 8 Tips for Staying Safe in Barcelona

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    You can travel from Barcelona to Madrid in as little as 2.5 hours. Look for AVE trains, Alta Velocidad Espana

    Trust me, I’ve made the unfortunate mistake of thinking I was on a high-speed train, when I was indeed, not on a high-speed train. 

    4. Easy to Get Around

    a couple walking down a cobblestone alley of Barcelona
    Gothic Quarter and El Born are widely recognized by their unique architecture and cobblestone streets.

    Barcelona is a compact city and you can easily explore on foot. The metro will connect all points of the city. Tickets for the metro are also cheap. A journey of 10 rides will run you about 11 dollars with the T-Casual card. 

    Cabs are also safe and plentiful. Avoid taxi scams by making sure your driver uses the meter, not a predetermined rate. 

    | Wondering, is Barcelona expensive? Yes and no. If you’re living in Spain, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the country, coming in just under Madrid. 

    But, if you’re coming from America or big cities in Europe, Barcelona is quite affordable. 

    Learn everything you need to get around Barcelona here

    5. Tapas

    Is Barcelona worth visiting for it's food? Photo of piles of croquetas at a market in barcelona
    Ah - one of my favorite snacks in Barcelona, Croquetas!

    Barcelona is famous for its delicious and traditional tapas scene. Barcelona’s tapas scene is characterized by a variety of plates, ranging from classic Spanish to traditional Catalan. 

    Traditional options include dishes like patatas bravas, garlic shrimp, and Spanish omelets. The city is dotted with tapas bars throughout the picturesque neighborhoods

    Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona’s famous food market on La Rambla, is the perfect spot for tapas enthusiasts to explore food stalls while trying a variety of tapas. 

    Other markets like Mercat de Santa Caterina and Mercat de Sant Antoni offer tasty tapas stalls.

    Want to check out the whole food scene in Barcelona with a local? Try out the best wine tours and food tastings in the city. 

    View pricing and availability for the best tapas and wine tour in Barcelona

    6. Beaches

    Barcelona is the best of both worlds, offering a metropolitan city and gorgeous beaches. The beaches are a major attraction drawing in visitors seeking the perfect blend of city living and relaxing paradise. 

    Barceloneta is perhaps the most famous beach in Barcelona. Its central location makes it incredibly easy to explore medieval neighborhoods and relax on the beach in the same day. Many sunset cruises leave from this port.

    Barceloneta is lively - you can always expect something exciting happening nearby. Some of the best clubs in the city are located nearby. Expect plenty of bars, restaurants, and chiringuitos offering fresh tapas with a great view. 

    Bogatell Beach is located just up the coast from Barceloneta and is accessible by the metro. Popular among sports enthusiasts, you’ll find plenty of volleyball courts and constant flows of pickup matches. 

    While Barceloneta and Bogatell can get very crowded in the Summer, Barcelona’s expansive regional train network allows quick and easy access to quieter options up the coast. 

    Ocata Beach is a short train ride away offering a much more tranquil experience. Or, take a trip to Costa Brava and be prepared to have your breath taken away at the beaches there. 

    7. History

    Barcelona is rich in a history that spans centuries and is a must-visit for all history enthusiasts. Neighborhoods like Gotico transport you back into medieval times with the labyrinth of alleyways. Even more impressive are the remnants of Roman walls that are still found today.

    Barcelona was a stronghold of anti-fascist forces, playing a significant role in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939.

    After Franco’s death in 1975, Spain transitioned into a democracy. His death led to a greater degree of autonomy for Catalonia and its capital, Barcelona. 

    Today you can find plenty of folks with vivid memories and varying opinions on Franco and Catalan independence. These topics can be incredibly divisive for locals, and it's often easier to avoid bringing it up. 

    View pricing and availability for this history tour through Gotico

    8. Lifestyle

    With over 300 days of sunshine a year, it's easy to see how Barcelona is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Plenty of residents spend their free time lounging on the beach or on rooftop terraces. Barcelona is located at the edge of the Collserola Forrest, offering easy access to plenty of hiking, biking, and walking trails. 

    Head to Ciutadella Park, and you’ll find a vast park full of people enjoying picnics, books, and games with their pets and friends. 

    Friends, family, and an active social life are incredibly important to the lifestyle here. 

    There’s no shortage of cozy terraces buzzing with locals sharing tapas, wine, and laughs

    When I was living in the United States, I often found that Americans socialize mostly on weekends. In Barcelona, terraces will be as busy on Tuesday nights as they will be on Saturday nights. 

    9. Sports

    futbol stadium in barcelona

    FC Barcelona (Barca) is an integral part of the city's identity. People take football incredibly seriously, whether watching the game in person, or at a pub with friends. 

    The Barca and Madrid rivalry is unlike any other and it’s hard to stroll the streets without seeing several jersey shops along the way. 

    Given the proximity to the sea, water and beach sports are also ingrained into the culture here. 

    Beach volleyball is incredibly popular and one of the easiest ways to meet new friends and fellow travelers. Is there a better way to spend a day than paddle boarding and playing beach volleyball? I think not!

    10. Day Trips and Weekend Trips

    view of a cove in costa brava with rocks popping out of the clear blue water
    Costa Brava's clear blue waters will leave you speechless

    Day trips and weekend trips from Barcelona turn your vacation into a never-ending adventure! Barcelona is a great central hub to explore Spain. It is well-connected by public transportation to several major and smaller cities, making it easy to get around and see all that Spain has to offer. 

    Some of the cities that are easily accessible from Barcelona by public transportation include:

    • Madrid: The capital of Spain, Madrid is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture.
    • Seville: A beautiful city in southern Spain, Seville is known for its flamenco dancing, tapas, and Moorish architecture.
    • Granada: A historic city in southern Spain, Granada is home to the world-famous Alhambra palace and fortress complex.
    • Valencia: A port city on the Mediterranean coast, Valencia is known for its paella, beaches, and lively nightlife. But don't worry, there are plenty of paella cooking classes in Barcelona to get your fix in too!
    • Bilbao: A city in northern Spain, Bilbao is home to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a world-renowned museum of modern and contemporary art.

    These are just a few of the many cities that you can visit from Barcelona by public transportation. With so much to see and do, Spain is a great country to explore.

    Top Attractions in Barcelona

    Gaudi Architecture

    Gaudi house from the street

    Gaudi is to Barcelona what Tom Brady is to football. One of the most famous architects to ever exist, Antoni Gaudi hails from Barcelona. 

    The Barcelona that we know and love today is a result of the work Gaudi did in urban planning and designing some of the most magnificent buildings in the city. 

    A true visionary, his architecture is characterized by vibrant colors and a deep connection with nature. The Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Batllo have all been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

    Explore all of Gaudi's most famous creations on an architectural tour

    Sagrada Familia

    ariel view of barcelona's skyline with sagrada familia and mountains in the distance
    Sagrada is easy to spot from the skyline...and always under construction!

    Perhaps the most famous Gaudi masterpiece, Sagrada Familia is an iconic symbol of Barcelona. Gaudi started work on the project in 1883 and spent the last years of his life entirely devoted to the project. 

    Still a work in progress, the project is set to be completed in the next few years.

    Sagrada Familia is unlike any basilica I’ve ever seen and the tour absolutely blew me away. Seeing how attention to detail blends with religion and natural inspiration is truly incredible 

    Skip the line on this awesome fast-track Sagrada Familia tour

    Gothic Quarter

    gothic quarter narrow alley street

    The Gothic quarter is a beloved barrio in Barcelona that draws in history buffs, nightlife enthusiasts, and everyone in between. It’s one of the city's oldest neighborhoods with a history that runs centuries deep. 

    Today you’ll find plenty of historical remnants. The Barcelona Cathedral is a stunning focal point dating back to the 13th century. The streets are winding and magical. Carrer del Bisbe is adorned with lanterns making it a favorite for photos

    Venture onto El Call, the historic Jewish quarter of Barcelona. Explore mazes of narrow alleyways and hidden squares. This is the perfect place to visit historical synagogues along with remnants of medieval Jewish life. 

    Take a tour through Barcelona's oldest neighborhood

    Park Guell

    mosaic wall gaudi art overlooking the city in parc guell
    Park Guell is home to this picture-perfect spot you've probably seen in Barcelona photos

    Park Guell is another Gaudi masterpiece that now serves as a public park in Barcelona. The park is decorated with colorful mosaics, sculptures, and organic shapes. 

    The park feels like magic - full of whimsical elements yet functional in design. Located closer to the mountain than the beach, the park offers an incredible birds-eye view of Barcelona.

    Visit Park Guell and Sagrada Familia in one awesome, fun-filled day


    florescent lit bar from the second floor
    Bar in El Born from the second floor

    One of the best things about Barcelona is the nightlife. Known as the vibrant capital of Catalonia, the city has something for everyone after the sun sets.

    Barceloneta Beach is a lively stretch along the coast offering plenty of beachside bars and open air clubs that play music until the wee hours of the morning.

    Venture into El Born and enjoy stylish bars, tapas restaurants, and clubs dotted through the medieval streets. 

    Or head a bit north into Gracia and enjoy some bites and drinks in Placa Del Sol, a lively square frequented by locals. 

    Two of my favorite nightlife spots are Dr Stravinsky's (a top 50 bar in the world) and Carpe Diem Lounge Club (CDLC). Dr. Stravinky's is a low key cocktail bar while CDLC is a wild beach club open till the wee hours of the morning.

    Most Unique Things to Do in Barcelona

    Rooftop Yoga

    girl doing yoga on a rooftop

    My favorite thing to do in Barcelona!

    One of the best ways to enjoy Barcelona is from a child’s pose on top of a roof! The weather is perfect for yoga in the evening, even in the chillier months. 

    I have to give a shoutout here to my favorite yoga teacher in the world (seriously) - Christine Pohn at Blaumeer Yoga (not an affiliate link). If you're in town and love yoga, I urge you to try out a class!

    Moco Museum

    Moco Museum in Barcelona

    Welcome to The Moco Museum in Barcelona! Located down one of the charming cobblestone streets in the Gothic Quarter, this epic museum is a must-visit that deserves a spot on your bucket list.

    At this modern art museum, you'll discover digital creations, NFTs, and unique works of art not typically found in traditional history museums. Keep an eye out for captivating pieces by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and an entire room dedicated to THE Banksy.

    What makes The Moco Museum truly special? Street art off the street, striking and Instagram-worthy colors and digital creations, the ability of the artworks to resonate with people from all walks of life, and the truly one-of-a-kind experience it offers right in the heart of Barcelona.

    It's worth noting that there are only two Moco Museums in the world, making this Barcelona gem even more special.

    🤩 View pricing and availability at the BCN Moco Museum

    Is Barcelona Worth Visiting: Pros

    No place is perfect! Now that we’ve covered just why Barcelona is worth visiting, here are some pros and cons of visiting Barcelona if you’re still not sure. 

    Why visit Barcelona Spain? Here are view of the top reasons you SHOULD visit Barcelona this year.


    plate of steak on a dinner table

    Barcelona is worth a visit just for the food, if you ask me. With the proximity to the ocean, you’ll find plenty of fresh seafood dishes whipped up into delicious tapas, or small plate dishes. Don't miss out on a food tour while you're in town.

    The La Boqueria Market is iconic to Barcelona and is a great spot to sample fresh meats, seafoods, and small plates. 

    As the hub of Catalonia, expect to find dishes that encompass both Spanish and Catalan traditions. Take advantage of the location and try some Catalan favorites. 

    Crema Catalana is a traditional dessert similar to creme brulee. Perhaps my favorite Catalan dish is coca, a savory or sweet flatbread topped with different vegetables or meats. It’s similar to pizza, but dare I say, better. 

    A visit to Poble Sec to explore the pincho bars is a must. Pinchos are small snacks typically served on a piece of bread secured by a toothpick. The streets of Poble Sec have tons of pincho bars that are cheap and delicious. 


    No matter what kind of nightlife you’re looking for, Barcelona is sure to satisfy you. Barcelona has plenty of clubs hosting regular events and musicians sprinkled throughout the city. 

    There are loads of cocktail bars, ranging from chill to bougie. Nearly every barrio has lively plazas with plenty of terrace patios to enjoy drinks with impeccable scenery. 

    Whether you’re ready to hit the clubs until the early morning, or a casual date night tapas spot, you’re bound to enjoy your night out. 


    tram on the tracks in barcelona

    The ease of travel through Barcelona can not be said enough. The city is so well connected. From the moment you arrive in the airport or train station, you’ll find cheap and efficient connection options via bus, metro, and cab. 

    Public transportation is not only easy and efficient, it’s incredibly affordable as well. Find cheap options like the T-Casual ticket that can be used on bus, metro, and most of the regional train zones. 

    The metro runs 24/7 on Saturdays, making logistics even easier to enjoy the nightlife scene. 


    Barcelona is one of the most walkable cities in Europe. You can easily travel by foot to all major points of interest in less than an hour. 

    For those that don’t feel like walking everywhere, trains, metros, buses, and cabs are all reliable, cheap, and safe. But, I walk solo in Barcelona during the day all the time and always feel safe!


    One of the best perks about visiting Barcelona is the beach life. The beach is easily reachable by foot from some of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. 

    The beaches in Barcelona are more than just a place to relax by the water, they are lively neighborhoods with their own identities. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs located right on the coast. 

    Is Barcelona Worth Visiting: Cons


    is barcelona worth visiting? Crowded beach in barceloneta
    The crowds in the summer months might deter you from visiting

    Crowds can be a con of visiting Barcelona. The summer months tend to be peak for tourists and popular destinations like Las Ramblas and Barceloneta become incredibly crowded. Many locals leave Barcelona during August for their own holidays, limiting the local experience many visitors crave. 

    Customer Service

    While dining in Barcelona is a fantastic experience, the service in restaurants is much different than that in the United States. 

    While it’s very normal to step out for a quick bite in the United States, dining in Spain is much more relaxed and often takes several hours from start to finish. 

    While it’s customary to round up while paying the bill in Spain, a flat tip is not expected like that in the US. 


    The heat and humidity in Spain can be quite brutal during the summer months. August tends to be the hottest and days can easily reach low to mid 30s (96 F) during this period. 

    The heat in other Spanish cities like Madrid and Sevilla is often higher than that in Barcelona, but without the humidity. In Barcelona, expect plenty of humidity to go along with all that heat. 


    While I think it’s important to preface the fact that pickpockets exist in any city that has a thriving tourism industry, Barcelona has some of the highest rates. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a visit to Barcelona, just be extra vigilant. 

    Don’t leave phones out on the table while dining, don’t leave bags unattended on the back of chairs, and avoid walking down narrow walkways after a heavy night of drinking. 

    Everything you should avoid in Barcelona here

    Barcelona Travel Tips: What to Know Before Visiting

    Visiting Barcelona for the first time can be intimidating! Here are some quick helpful tips to ensure a smooth vacation:

    • The T-Casual Pass provides 10 metro trips for easy transportation.
    • Most places you’ll want to visit around the city are within walking distance.
    • Wear comfortable shoes as you'll be walking a lot.
    • Locals prioritize comfort over fashion for shoes.
    • Keep your bag closed and secured at all times.
    • Purchase La Sagrada Familia tickets in advance to avoid disappointment - slots fills up quickly! 
    • Make dinner reservations to avoid long wait times.

    This is just a short list; I have more tips on Staying Safe in Barcelona in my free e-book. 

    Is Barcelona Safe to Visit?

    long stretch of paved road lined with palm trees Arc de Triomf at the end in barcelona
    Barcelona's Arc de Triomf in the distance

    Yes, Barcelona as a tourist destination is absolutely safe. While petty crime like pickpocketing can be common, it’s also preventable. There are plenty of police standing guard in popular tourist attractions and the safety of visitors and citizens is a high priority. 

    Is Barcelona a good place to live? Absolutely. I may be biased, as I’ve enjoyed living in this beautiful city for years now.

    However, Barcelona has a great expat community, amazing weather, and some epic history and attractions to enjoy. And of course, my favorite part, the food! 

    You Shouldn’t Visit Barcelona If…

    You shouldn’t visit Barcelona if you’re not interested in a lively coastal party city. Additionally, if you’re not much of a foodie, it might not be the city for you! 

    Barcelona also sees almost 300 days of sun each year. If you prefer the rainier cities, like London and Amsterdam, you may not enjoy the Barcelona weather. 

    Lastly, particularly during the busy summer months, June to August, Barcelona sees its hottest and most humid days with crowds of tourists on every street. Keep this in mind if you don’t love crowds and hot days. 

    FAQ Is Barcelona Worth Visiting

    Is it worth seeing Barcelona?

    Yes, it is absolutely worth seeing Barcelona. Barcelona is full of unique architecture, great food, and it’s located on the beach. The city truly has something for everyone. 

    How many days do you need in Barcelona?

    You need 3-4 days to visit Barcelona. This will give you at least one day for culture and sightseeing, one day for the beach, and one day to pick your favorite attractions to enjoy.

    You could certainly spend more or less time in Barcelona - you can even hit a lot of big sightseeing in one day. So, regardless of your time, you can easily make the most of it!

    Which city is better Madrid or Barcelona?

    Barcelona is better if you want easy access to the sea and mountains whereas Madrid is a larger metropolitan city.

    While Barcelona is a party city, Madrid really comes alive at night. In terms of food and culture, Madrid and Barcelona are both teeming with museums and authentic food.

    Deciding which city is better for you really comes down to preference!

    Is it better to visit Rome or Barcelona?

    Barcelona is best for visitors looking to be near the beach and within easy reach of authentic Spanish cuisine and architecture. And of course, it's parties and beach clubs! Barcelona's walkability is also huge draw for tourists

    Rome is better for visitors who want to explore the history of the 'Eternal City' - home to the Colosseum and Vatican City - a deep dive into the Roman Empire and the Renaissance period.

    These two cities offer very different experiences.

    What is the nicest city in Spain?

    Barcelona is frequently referred to as the nicest city in Spain. It's location on the beach paired with famous architecture and lively party culture make it a haven for international travelers.

    Madrid and Valencia come as close seconds as two of the nicest cities in Spain.

    Final Thoughts: Is Barcelona Worth Visiting This Year?

    To sum it up - Barcelona is undeniably worth visiting. Its unique blend of rich history, stunning architecture, and a delicious culinary scene makes it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

    With the added allure of beaches, mountains, and a party atmosphere unlike any other city in Europe, there truly is something for everyone.

    Despite the challenges of heat and the occasional pickpocket, the city's beauty and vibrance far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

    Hopefully I've given you everything you need to make a decision for yourself. Just because it's one one of my favorite cities in the world doesn't mean it's right for you!

    However, if I've won you over on Barcelona, pack your comfortable shoes, be prepared to eat, explore, and immerse yourself in the unique and captivating spirit of Barcelona.

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